Chapter IV C: Regulations relating to Parochial Administration
In exercise of its powers under Chapter II of the Constitution the Governing Body hereby makes the following regulations entitled “Governing Body Regulations relating to Parochial Administration”, which are set out as follows:
- Part I: Annual and Other Vestry Meetings
- Part II: Congregational Meetings
- Part III: The Electoral Roll
- Part IV: The Parochial Church Council
- Part V: Churchwardens, Subwardens and Sidespersons
- Part VI: General Parochial Administration
Part I: Annual and Other Vestry Meetings
The Annual Vestry Meeting shall be held not later than 30th April in each year.
2.1 Every Vestry Meeting shall be called by:
2.1.1 the Incumbent, or in his or her absence or incapacity the Churchwardens; or
2.1.2 in a vacancy or suspended incumbency, the cleric in charge where appointed; or
2.1.3 where no cleric in charge has been appointed the Area Dean or his or her nominee; or
2.1.4 where the office of Area Dean is vacant, by the Archdeacon or his or her nominee;
and in each case by notice signed by the person or persons calling the meeting, setting out the agenda and stating the place, day and hour of the meeting.
2.2 Such notice shall be displayed near the principal door of the church or churches and of every other building in the Parish used for public worship and belonging to the Church in Wales, for a period including the two Sundays immediately preceding the day of the meeting; oral notice of the meeting shall also be given at the principal services in the Parish during such period.
2.3 Every Vestry Meeting shall be a physical meeting unless the Diocesan Bishop has determined that it is not practicable for a physical meeting to take place and has issued a direction that the meeting be held as an online meeting.
3.1 The Incumbent shall take the chair at a Vestry Meeting unless he or she otherwise wishes.
3.2 In a vacancy or suspended incumbency the cleric-in-charge, where appointed, shall take the chair unless he or she otherwise wishes.
3.3 In a vacancy or suspended incumbency where no cleric-in-charge has been appointed, the chair shall be the Area Dean or his or her nominee. Where the office of Area Dean is vacant, the chair shall be the Archdeacon or his or her nominee.
3.4 In a Rectorial Benefice a Vicar designated by the Rector may take the chair. In a vacancy in a Rectorial Benefice the chair shall be a Vicar of that benefice designated by the Area Dean or, where the office of Area Dean is vacant, by the Archdeacon.
3.5 In any other circumstances, the chair shall be chosen by the Meeting.
3.6 The chair shall have a casting vote, save that when the chair is a cleric this provision shall not apply to the election of lay persons.
4.1 The following persons shall have the right to attend, speak and vote at Vestry Meetings:
4.1.1 the Incumbent or in a vacancy or suspended incumbency the cleric-in-charge where appointed, or where no cleric in charge has been appointed the Area Dean or the Archdeacon as appropriate;
4.1.2 Vicars in a Rectorial Benefice;
4.1.3 Assistant Curates;
4.1.5 full-time stipendiary Lay Workers;
4.1.6 any other Clerics with a licence or permission to officiate, who are resident in the Parish and not beneficed in or licensed to any other Parish; and
4.1.7 qualified electors of that Parish.
4.2 With the approval of the Parochial Church Council, residents in the Parish who are either communicants but not qualified electors of that Parish or are communicant members of Churches in covenant with the Church in Wales, may attend and speak, but not vote.
4.3 At the discretion of the chair, other persons may attend but neither speak nor vote.
If it is brought to the notice of the Diocesan Bishop that:
5.1 the Annual Vestry Meeting has not been held; or
5.2 Churchwardens, Parochial Church Councillors, or the parochial representatives on the Diocesan Conference or the Deanery Conference have not been elected or appointed; or
5.3 the parochial representatives on the Diocesan Nomination Board have not been elected or appointed; or
5.4 meetings of the Parochial Church Council have not been held as provided by Chapter IV C section 8;
the Bishop may appoint Churchwardens, Parochial Church Councillors or parochial representatives as the case may require and may summon a meeting of the Parochial Church Council, and in each such case the Bishop shall report any action taken by him under this Regulation to the next meeting of the Diocesan Conference.
Part II: Congregational Meetings
6.1 In Parishes with more than one church, a Congregational Meeting may be held prior to any Vestry Meeting. Such Congregational Meeting shall be open to qualified electors who normally attend the church in question, together with those persons mentioned in Regulations 4.1.1 to 4.1.6.
6.2 In Parishes with more than one Church, each Congregational Meeting held under Regulation 6.1 may elect a Church Committee to deal with matters concerning that particular church. Such Church Committee shall be responsible to the Parochial Church Council. The subwardens for that particular church, and any members of the Parochial Church Council who normally attend that church, shall be ex-officio members of such Church Committee.
6.3 Every Congregational Meeting shall be a physical meeting unless the Diocesan Bishop has determined that it is not practicable for a physical meeting to take place and has issued a direction that the meeting be held as an online meeting.
Part III: The Electoral Roll
7.2 The maintenance of the electoral roll (“the Roll”) shall be under the direction of the Parochial Church Council.
7.3 The Roll shall lapse immediately before the Annual Vestry Meeting in 2022 and in every fifth year thereafter, when a new Roll shall be prepared. Notice of the intention to prepare a new Roll shall be displayed near the principal door of every church in the Parish for at least fifteen days before the commencement of the preparation of the new Roll.
7.4 The new Roll shall be prepared under the direction of the Parochial Church Council, and all persons wishing to have their names included shall make the application in accordance with the provisions of Chapter IV C section 4. A fresh application shall be required from persons whose names appeared on the previous Roll.
7.5 A notice that preparation of the new Roll has been completed and that the new Roll is available for inspection shall be displayed near the principal door of every church in the Parish for at least fifteen days before the Annual Vestry Meeting in each year the Roll lapses pursuant to Regulation 7.3 above, at the commencement of which Meeting the new roll shall come into force.
A copy of the Roll shall be produced by the Churchwardens to the Bishop or the Archdeacon on request.
The Roll, when not otherwise required, shall be kept in the safe of the Parish church. In a Parish with more than one church copies of the Roll or parts thereof may be kept in safe custody by each church.
Part IV: The Parochial Church Council
Powers and Duties
The Parochial Church Council shall elect lay persons to serve on the Diocesan Nomination Board in accordance with Regulation 1.5 of the Governing Body Regulations relating to Appointments and Nominations.
11.1 The Parochial Church Council shall appoint a secretary of the Parochial Church Council and of the Vestry Meetings, and may appoint a deputy secretary, whose functions are set out in this Regulation.
11.2 In the event of both the secretary and the deputy secretary being absent from a meeting, such meeting shall appoint someone as secretary of that meeting.
11.3 The Secretary shall:
11.3.1 attend and keep minutes of the meetings of the Parochial Church Council and of the Vestry Meeting;
11.3.2 send to the Archdeacon the names and addresses of the Churchwardens;
11.3.3 send to the Area Dean the names and addresses of the persons elected to the Deanery Conference;
11.3.4 send to the Secretary of the Diocesan Conference the names and addresses of the persons elected to the Diocesan Conference; and
11.3.5 send to the Secretary of the Diocesan Nomination Board the names and addresses of the persons elected to serve on the Nomination Board.
11.4 The provisions of Regulation 11.3.5 shall not apply where a Parish is annexed to a cathedral.
12.1 The Parochial Church Council shall appoint a treasurer annually and may appoint deputy treasurers to administer the finances of the Parish.
12.2 The Parochial Church Council shall cause a copy of the examined or audited accounts to be displayed near the principal door of the church or churches and of every other building in the Parish used for public worship and belonging to the Church in Wales and also may cause such copies to be displayed at other buildings in the Parish, for a period including the two Sundays immediately preceding the day of the Annual Vestry Meeting.
13.1 The ex-officio members shall be the Incumbent or, in the case of a vacancy or suspended incumbency, the cleric in charge where appointed, Vicars in a rectorial benefice, assistant Curates, Deaconesses, full-time stipendiary Lay Workers and the Churchwardens.
13.2 The elected members shall be such number (not exceeding twenty-five) of lay persons elected by the Annual Vestry Meeting, as shall from time to time be fixed by the Annual Vestry Meeting.
13.3 The co-opted members shall be:
13.3.1 the secretary and treasurer, if not already ex-officio or elected members;
13.3.2 such number (not exceeding seven in total) of lay persons or clerics as the Council may determine; and
13.3.3 such licensed readers (if any) as the Council may determine;
provided that a retired cleric shall not be eligible to be co-opted.
Part V: Churchwardens, Subwardens and Sidespersons
14.1 Churchwardens shall be elected or appointed annually and, subject to the provisions of Regulations 14.2, 14.3 and 14.5, shall hold office until their successors are admitted.
14.2.1 A Churchwarden may, by notice in writing addressed to the Bishop, resign his or her office which shall become vacant on receipt of such notice by the Bishop. The Bishop shall forthwith acknowledge the resignation, and notify the Incumbent, the cleric in charge or the Area Dean as the case may be, and the other Churchwarden or Churchwardens of the vacancy.
14.2.2 A casual vacancy among the Churchwardens may be filled at any time by election or appointment as the case may be, effected at a Vestry Meeting called for that purpose.
14.3 Churchwardens shall not be eligible for re-election or re-appointment in the year following the completion of six consecutive terms of office, save under the provisions of Regulation 14.4.
14.4 If difficulty is foreseen in complying with Regulation 14.3, the Archdeacon, on petition from a Vestry Meeting or on his own initiative, may issue a dispensation from the provisions of the paragraph, but thereupon the Archdeacon shall report the matter to the Bishop.
14.5 Churchwardens shall be ineligible for re-election or re-appointment on reaching the age at which membership of the Governing Body ceases.
15.1 In Parishes with more than one church two qualified electors of that Parish may be designated as subwardens for the church they normally attend. One such subwarden shall be elected by the Annual Vestry Meeting after nomination by a Congregational Meeting and the other shall be appointed by the Incumbent. In the case of a vacancy, the provisions of Chapter IV C subsections 13(2) and 13(3) shall apply to the appointment of a subwarden.
15.2 The provisions of Regulation 14.3, 14.4 and 14.5 shall apply to Subwardens as to Churchwardens.
16.1 The duties of the Sidespersons shall be to assist the Churchwardens in the performance of their duties.
16.2 Each Sidesperson shall be a qualified elector of that Parish over eighteen years of age.
Part VI: General Parochial Administration
17.1 Unless the Archdeacon otherwise directs in writing, each inventory shall be under the control of the Incumbent and Churchwardens and shall be kept in a church safe.
17.2 Upon being so requested, the Incumbent and Churchwardens shall send any inventory to the Bishop or the Archdeacon as the case may be.
17.3.1 On the occasion of a vacancy in any incumbency, it shall be the duty of the Churchwardens to inspect the church plate and other valuable articles belonging to the church or used in the worship of any church or mission room in the Parish, to check such articles against the inventories, and within one month of the vacancy occurring to make a written report of the result of their inspection to the Secretary of the Representative Body, who shall bring such report before the next meeting of that Body.
17.3.2 After sending such report to the Secretary of the Representative Body the Churchwardens shall forward a copy thereof, together with the inventories, to the Archdeacon, who shall inspect the inventories and deliver them in due course to the new Incumbent.
18.1 The Incumbent and Churchwardens shall forthwith enter in the inventory particulars of any gift to the church of church plate or other valuable article to be used in the worship of any church or mission room in the Parish.
18.2 Entries in the inventory shall state the name of the donor (where known), record where each article is kept when not in use, and give particulars of any insurance thereof.
18.3 The Incumbent shall report the gift to the next meeting of the Parochial Church Council and the next Vestry Meeting.
18.4 The Incumbent and Churchwardens shall send a copy of the entry of any gift to the Bishop and to the Secretary of the Representative Body, and the latter shall report the gift to the next meeting of that Body.
Any dispute or question arising out of Regulation 17 or 18 or otherwise connected with an inventory shall be referred to the Archdeacon whose decision thereon shall be final.